It’s tough to make it as an independent musician (any musician, really) in today’s world, especially now that album and singles sales continue to dwindle and streaming paychecks never seem to quite end up as they should.
Apple is a new name in the streaming music world, and there has been a lot of back and forth about whether the tech giant will be better or worse for artists than their competition, and it’s a complicated situation. Their new service, Apple Music, launches at the end of the month, and it’s likely that millions of people are going to at least give the platform a try for a time. With three free months of music to offer anyone willing to make the switch, even if just to try it out, Apple has given some pretty good incentive to consumers everywhere.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 08: Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue speaks about Apple Music during Apple WWDC on June 8, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple annouced a new OS X, El Capitan, iOS 9 and Apple Music during the keynote at the annual developers conference that runs through June 12.
Now, even before it has officially launched, Apple Music is in trouble with the independent music world. A2IM, the American Association of Independent Music, an organization that advocates on the behalf of many of the biggest indie labels, recently sent a memo to their members, cautioning them to think twice before signing over their music to Apple, as it may not be a fair deal:
“Independent rights holders will receive no compensation for their content during Apple Music’s 90-day free trial period. It is surprising that Apple feels the need to give a free trial as Apple is a well-known entity.”
The labels that A2IM work with are some of the biggest in the world, and their artists have huge followings. If they decide not to sign on with Apple and leave their catalogs off the service—at least for the first three months when few are paying—it could be a serious blow to Apple’s new entrant into the streaming market
In the end, it is up to many of these labels to decide on their own whether they will agree to Apple’s terms, but A2IM doesn’t want anyone to sign anything from the tech giant without carefully considering what it means for their business:
We will keep everyone informed as new details emerge in the press. In the meantime, please do not feel rushed to sign Apple’s current offer.”
Originally posted June 17, 2015 by Forbes.com